Football with Three Trophies

English Football Clubs That Have Won The Double or The Treble

Among the key strengths of the Premier League is its competitiveness. In the last four seasons alone, seven different teams have finished inside the top two positions with any number of shocks in the betting along the way. However, the development of a ‘big six’ in England’s top flight and Manchester City’s clean sweep of all three domestic trophies in the 2018/19 season (not including the Community Shield, which they also won) has some people worried that English football is trending towards less competitiveness and more hegemony when it comes to those who win silverware at least.

Team Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup
Manchester City 2018/19
2017/18
2013/14

Manchester City’s achievement of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup was unprecedented but it’s not just what they won, it’s the relentless nature of City’s performances during the season which has most worried fans of rival teams. The longer they can maintain the mentality imposed on the team by Pep Guardiola, the tougher it’s going to get for the chasing pack to make up the ground but the history of the Premier League is littered with teams who saw their dominance surprisingly ended.

A whole host of teams have won multiple trophies in one English football season. Preston North End were the first to do so when winning the league championship and the FA Cup in 1889 and many more teams who have followed in their footsteps are similarly far away from domestic dominance.

Domestic Doubles and Trebles

Football Stadium and England Flag

When Pep Guardiola was asked what he thought about Man City’s chances of becoming the first English team to complete a domestic treble in his pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup final, the City manager was quick to point out that the feat had been achieved once before, by Arsenal Ladies. They did so in an incredible 2006/07 season in which the Gunners also added the Women’s Champions League but even their dominance in the domestic scene has been ended somewhat in more recent years as other clubs have begun to seriously invest in their women’s teams.

Team Season Premier League Champions League FA Cup League Cup
Arsenal Ladies 2006/07

The hope among fans of teams including Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham is that Man City’s dominance will be similarly ended. The unpredictable nature of English football means it is highly unlikely that City will complete the domestic treble with any real regularity in the coming years but for now at least, their position as the best team in the country looks set in stone.

It’s not just that Man City became the first team to win the domestic treble in the men’s game, their win in the FA Cup final meant they have won five of the last six available trophies. Mounting a successful defence of the Premier League title is widely seen as the mark of a great team led by a truly great manager. There have been only 23 successful title defences in the history of English football’s top flight with Man City becoming the eighth team to do so since the introduction of the Premiership in 1992.

Manchester United

Nobody has won back to back Premier League titles more often than Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson was the man in charge for all of United’s six successful title defences.

During that time Man United won the traditional domestic double of the league title and FA Cup three times, in 1993/94, 1995/96 and 1998/99 when they also won the Champions League. United also won both the Premier League and League Cup in 2008/09 which gives them four total domestic doubles.

Team Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup
Manchester United 2008/09
1998/99
1995/96
1993/94

Arsenal

Winning those four domestic doubles undoubtedly made Man United one of the teams in English football but there were never allowed to fully dominate, thanks largely to Arsenal.

The Gunners had huge success under Arsene Wenger completing a domestic double in both 1997/97 (Premiership and FA Cup) and 2001/02 (Premiership and FA Cup). Arsenal also won both the English top flight and FA Cup the 1970/71 season and became the first team to win both the FA Cup and League Cup in 1992/93 when George Graham was their manager.

Team Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup
Arsenal 2001/02
1997/98
1992/93
1970/71

Chelsea

Chelsea are the other team to have completed multiple domestic doubles in the Premier League era. The appointment of Jose Mourinho backed by the money of Roman Abramovic changed the trajectory of the West London club and saw them complete the Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/10 and the Premier League and League Cup double in both 2004/05 and 2014/15.

Chelsea also became just the third club in English football history to win the FA Cup and League Cup in the same season following Arsenal in 1992/93 and Liverpool in 2000/01.

Team Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup
Chelsea 2014/15
2009/10
2006/07
2004/05

Liverpool

As mentioned above, Liverpool have completed a domestic double in recent years winning the FA Cup and League Cup in the 2000/01 season.

Prior to the Premier League era, they won the League and FA Cup double in the 1985/86 season. This came shortly after a hat-trick of League and League Cup doubles for The Reds 1981/82, 1982/83 and 1983/84.

Team Season Premier League FA Cup League Cup
Liverpool 2000/01
1985/85
1983/84
1982/83
1981/82

European Doubles and Trebles

Map of Europe With UK Highlighted in Red

Manchester City have set the standard by which the achievements of future Premier League teams will be judged but there is one gaping hole in their trophy cabinet. The club’s hierarchy desperately want the team to win the Champions League but the dramatic defeat in the quarter final against Tottenham meant they’ll have to wait one more year at least.

Many managers and fans would prefer to see their team to win trophies at the continental level than domestically and you can be sure that City would have swapped either their FA Cup or League Cup success for a place in the Champions League final. Liverpool and Tottenham certainly won’t look back at missed opportunities domestically given one of them will win the Champions League and success in Europe has been the key element of many of the best seasons from English teams in history.

European Trebles

The Manchester United team of the 1998/99 season is the side that immediately comes to mind when thinking about English teams who combined domestic trophies with success at the highest level in Europe. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were the first to complete the treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup thanks to their famous and dramatic win over Bayern Munich.

Team Season Trophies
Manchester United 1998/99 ✅ Premier League
✅ Champions League (vs Bayern Munich)
✅ FA Cup (vs Newcastle United

The nature of that win in the Nou Camp and the quality of Man United’s play in the Premiership and FA Cup means that time has rightly gone down in history but they weren’t the first English team to complete a treble.

That honour goes to Liverpool who beat Roma in the final of the 1983/84 European Cup to continental triumph to successes in the same season’s First Division and the League Cup. The Joe Fagan Liverpool team earned their place in history by becoming the first treble winners in English football history and Liverpool completed something similar 17 years later.

Team Season Trophies
Liverpool 2000/01 ✅ FA Cup (vs Arsenal)
✅ League Cup (vs Birmingham City)
✅ UEFA Cup (vs Alaves)
1983/84 ✅ Division 1
✅ European Cup (vs Roma)
✅ League Cup (vs Everton)

The treble which Gerard Houllier and his players completed in the 2000/01 season is unique. No team before or since has won three separate cup competitions with Liverpool triumphing in the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. Liverpool finished some 11 points behind Premiership winners Manchester United that season but they were very entertaining in three separate successful cup runs in a season which will live long in the memory of every Liverpool fan who experienced it.

European Doubles

Leeds were the first English team to complete at domestic/European double when they won the League Cup and the UEFA Cup in the 1967/68 season. Five years later, Liverpool became the first English league champions to win a European trophy in the same season when they won the UEFA Cup in 1973. They repeated that double in the 1975/76 season and followed that up the following year to become the team to win the English top flight and the European Cup in the same campaign.

Team Season Trophies
Leeds United 1967/68 ✅ League Cup (vs Arsenal)
✅ Fairs (UEFA) Cup (vs Ferencvaros)
Liverpool 1972/73 ✅ Division 1
✅ UEFA Cup (vs Borussia Monchengladbach)
1975/76 ✅ Division 1
✅ UEFA Cup (vs Club Brugge)
1976/77 ✅ Division 1
✅ European Cup (vs Borussia Monchengladbach)
Nottingham Forest 1978/79 ✅ FA Cup (vs Southampton)
✅ European Cup (vs Malmo)
Everton 1984/85 ✅ Division 1
✅ Cup Winners’ Cup (vs Rapid Wien)
Chelsea 1997/98 ✅ League Cup (vs Middlesbrough)
✅ Cup Winners’ Cup (vs VfB Stuttgart)
2011/12 ✅ FA Cup (vs Liverpool)
✅ Champions League (vs VfB Bayern Munich)
Manchester United 2007/08 ✅ Premier League
✅ Champions League (vs Chelsea)
2016/17 ✅ League Cup (vs Southampton)
✅ Europa League Cup (vs Ajax)

Additional domestic/continental doubles have been completed by Nottingham Forest in 1978/79 (League Cup and European Cup), Everton in 1984/85 (English championship and Cup Winners’ Cup) and Chelsea in 1997/98 (League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup).

Three teams have mixed domestic and European success in more recent years with Manchester United in 2007/08 (Premier League and Champions League), Chelsea in 2011/12 (FA Cup and Champions League) and Manchester United in 2016/17 (League Cup and Europa League) getting the job done.